Divorce is a life-changer, for sure. The death of a marriage means that nothing will ever be the same again. Committing your life to someone, and then having that bond broken -- for whatever reason -- is going to change you.
The thing about grief is that you don’t know how you’re going to come out the other side. When you’re taking things minute by minute, and then hour by hour, and day by day, eventually you look up and realize that a whole heck of a lot of things have happened that you didn’t see coming.
Some are good, some are difficult, and it seems to me that it’s usually never quite what you expected.
Here are nine things I didn’t expect about going through a divorce.
The Judgment: Holy moly! I had no idea that people would not only have so many vehement opinions about my personal life, but that they'd feel the need to express them.
The Waiting Game: Everything is taking longer than I expected. The legal process, the healing process, the acceptance process … everything.
Mean people: This is its own separate category from the judgey people. A lot of judgey people really do have good hearts, and mean well, but the mean people? Apparently I’m destroying my life, my kids lives, and I may or may not have murdered Mickey Mouse.
Compassion: On the flip side of the mean people are the truly compassionate. I’ve had so many happily married friends just hug me and say, “I have no idea what to say but I love you and I think you’re wonderful.” Those moments are the best. I love you too, sweet friends.
Time Warp: The first 24 hours or so seemed like they were second-to-second. As mentioned above, it slowly transpires until whole minutes pass by without counting your breaths. It’s been over eight months now, and I’m going a couple days at a time. I hope to graduate to weeks soon. After that maybe time will start moving on an even plane again.
Apathy: This one is good, especially when it comes to the judgment and the mean people. After your life gets ripped apart, it’s kind of hard to care about other people’s negativity toward you. Wow, I’m really sorry you’re having such a hard time with MY divorce.
My Kids’ Resiliency: I thought my kids would need intensive therapy for months. I thought they’d be more shell-shocked. I thought they’d beg for us to get back together more. They do have their moments, but seem to be adjusting much more quickly and easily than I’d imagined.
My Own Resiliency: After years of living on the emotional rollercoaster that is a dysfunctional marriage, I’m evening my keel and bouncing back just fine.
A Budding Friendship: Now that we don’t have to live with each other anymore, maybe we really can be friendly instead of barely tolerating one another. Hope springs eternal, right?
If you’ve been through a divorce, what took you by surprise?
Image via Martin Thomas/Flickr